BS Mathematics from UZH or BA Economics from St.Gallen


Hello Chimps,

I'm currently finishing high school, and I've already applied to two Swiss universities. The main reason why I'm writing is my concern about which one to choose. On one hand, there is the University of St. Gallen, one of the target schools, especially in the DACH region, but the degree (pure economics) doesn't seem like the best choice since I'm more interested in the quant field for the future. On the other hand, the University of Zurich offers a science degree in Mathematics with a minor in Banking and Finance, which sounds much better (and obviously feels better). I may be mistaken, but as far as I know, St. Gallen is much more prestigious and better when it comes to recruiting for example for investment banking, even in London, although UZH is higher in rankings.

Right now, I'm not sure what to choose. For my master's degree, I'm thinking about quantitative finance. Which of these universities will potentially give me a better chance to achieve that?

Thank you, have a good one.


Based on the most helpful WSO content, here's what you need to know:

University of St. Gallen (HSG): - Prestige and Recruitment: St. Gallen is highly prestigious, especially in the DACH region, and is well-regarded for recruiting in investment banking, even in London. - Degree Focus: A BA in Economics from St. Gallen is more traditional and may not align perfectly with your interest in the quant field.

University of Zurich (UZH): - Degree Focus: A BS in Mathematics with a minor in Banking and Finance aligns more closely with your interest in the quant field. - Rankings: UZH is higher in rankings, which can be beneficial for your future academic and professional pursuits.

Considerations for a Master's in Quantitative Finance: - Quantitative Skills: A BS in Mathematics from UZH will provide a strong quantitative foundation, which is crucial for a master's in quantitative finance. - Recruitment: While St. Gallen has a strong reputation for finance roles, the specific quantitative skills from a mathematics degree at UZH may be more advantageous for specialized quant roles.

Conclusion: - If your primary interest is in the quant field and you are aiming for a master's in quantitative finance, the BS in Mathematics from UZH with a minor in Banking and Finance seems like a better fit. - However, if you value the prestige and broader finance recruitment opportunities, St. Gallen's BA in Economics is a strong contender.

Ultimately, your decision should align with your long-term career goals and interests in the quant field.

Sources:, Complete European master guide for S&T/Quant position, MIT vs. Princeton vs. Yale undergrad for quant hedge fund,, Finance PhD vs. Applied Math MSc

I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.
Most Helpful

If you’re considering going into investment banking (or you’re not sure exactly what you’ll want to do), the BA in economics in St. Gallen would be the better choice in my view as it’s the more prestigious school of the two, you’ll have a better alumni network and the degree is substantially easier, which will make it easier to get good grades and have time to apply for internships.
Going into a quantitative role (quant research, structuring, quant trading) after your bachelor’s is not impossible but will be tricky. That being said, you’ll certainly be able to get into good quantitative finance programmes for your master’s. Maybe not into the MSc Quant Finance at ETH or the very technical programmes in France, but the Quant Finance degrees at Imperial, LSE, UCL, etc are definitely in scope.

On the other side, UZH is a great university as well and also known in quant finance (think about Prof. Leippold for example). The degree in mathematics will set you up for any quantitative role. If you choose this route, focus on getting relevant internships early on.

TL;DR: both are great universities and degrees. If you enjoy mathematics, I’d pick the degree at UZH.


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